During my first few months as the new London Assembly Member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest (North East), it has been great to meet with some fantastic local organisations focussing on improving community cohesion.
I was privileged to visit Hackney Chinese Community Services and see the crucial work they have been undertaking to bridge the gap between different generations of East and South East Asian Londoners, stand-up to hate crime during the pandemic and campaign for improvements to be made to the BNO visa scheme for Hongkongers fleeing the political situation in Hong Kong to move to the UK.
Taken together, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest has the second highest Jewish population of the London Assembly constituencies.
With the London Jewish Forum, I discussed the Mayor’s support for the Jewish manifesto for London, tackling antisemitism in our community and beyond, and how our Jewish community can access public services.
We agreed on the need to champion the interests of ethnic and religious minorities in the capital and push back against hate and prejudice.
Tell MAMA is a national project which supports victims of Islamophobia.
From the director of the organisation, I learnt about their work nationally and across London.
We discussed the trends they see both online and offline and the impact of hate crimes on the communities that they work with, particularly affecting girls and women, at the intersection of race, religion and gender.
What unites these organisations is their desire to work together and reach beyond the diverse communities they represent and advocate for. A common thread across all three was a desire to work across communities and break down silos, a desire I share.
Over the coming years and months, as the Assembly Member for North East, I look forward to playing my part, alongside them and with all residents of Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest.
London Assembly Member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest